Mocky plays François Gérane, an aimless young man whose delinquent tendencies cause his father to have him committed to a psychiatric ward. There, under the cold command of Dr. Varmont, he finds himself fighting for his dignity, sanity, and freedom.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
A rather hesitant and half-hearted approach to mental health that ticks all the expected boxes (progressive psychology versus staid medical doctrines; attempted escapes, suicides, clues in an unhappy childhood and so on) but manages to remain at arms length throughout. The crisp photography provides a surface polish but doesn't compensates for the lack of drive.
A fairly disappointing film: works better as an exploration of the vicious circle of an angry young man's life than either a clash of medical ideals or analysis of the deterioration of the mind. Franju has an uncanny ability to depict the starkly real in a dramatic and poetic way.